Tag Archives: spring

Representation Matters

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Although it’s just starting to feel like spring in Maryland, the spring equinox was about a week ago, meaning that spring is here. However, even more interestingly, it seems like March 20th was a universal trifecta of cosmic energy. In addition to welcoming in a new season, that day also had the pleasure of witnessing a solar eclipse and a super moon. I don’t know much about astronomy and the science behind these events, but that sounds pretty special if you ask me. Personally, my trust in cosmic energy and astrology is flaky. I’ll occasionally indulge in a horoscope reading and I proudly rep being a fiery Leo, but, on the whole, I don’t let any of it define me or my life.

On the other hand, a poet I follow on Twitter is better versed in that sense. She strongly believes in the effects of cosmic energy on our spirituality and she has a fairly deep knowledge of what these cosmic events mean. Through her, I learned that the energy being put out into the universe could be used as an opportunity for spiritual renewal. It could be said that it is the end of an era in a person’s life to make way for a new purpose to properly develop and grow. She explains that now is the time to state your intentions and, as the moon moves through its phases, your intentions will bloom, as well.

Again, I tend to only half believe in the power of the stars, simply because I don’t have a lot of experience with cosmic energy; however, I do believe in a power greater than all of us that may or may not use the cosmos as a tool, so, all in all, I was open to this possibility. More importantly, I was curious to see how, if at all, these events would affect my life and my spiritual course as a whole. My open-minded side was hoping for some kind of message from the universe, while the skeptic in me wasn’t allowing me to hold my breath.

So, on March 20th, my day went on as normal. Nothing particularly special happened until that night when I was taking a shower. Yes, the shower, the fountain of great ideas for every creative. So, being a writer, I was using my shower time as a time for reflection and thinking. I was thinking about my writing and which direction I should take. This was when the universe hit me with its gift. Representation matters.

Growing up, I don’t remember seeing any characters or celebrities who I could fully identify with. The closest thing I had was Scary Spice, but I definitely didn’t feel represented in books or shows. The vast majority of characters were white, while the few splashes of diversity I could see as a kid still only represented a minority of a minority. I couldn’t find any character that combined my physical features with my Afro-Latin roots. When it came to toys, Theresa, Barbie’s friend, was as good as it was going to get, but, I must admit, her brown, perfectly-tamed, wavy hair still made me feel out of place. But imagine. If it was hard enough for me to find a Hispanic representation that wasn’t from Central or South America, then imagine finding an accurate representation for each of my friends, who are even more diverse in their skin tones, hair types, and backgrounds. In other words, Susie Carmichael simply was never enough.

Unfortunately, fifteen years later and not too much has changed. DreamWorks is just now introducing the first black lead in a 3-D animated film and make-up lines have only recently expanded their products to include options for darker skin tones. There’s no doubt that this is a step in the right direction; however, it is also very clear that this movement could use some help, so that it can continue to foster positive change. This is where my intentions for the new moon come into play.

For me, representation matters, so, through my writing, I want to diversify the representations people are seeing. This means representing the minorities I identify with, the minorities around me, and the under-represented in general. I want to encourage character and perspective diversity, while also increasing options for those who feel under-represented. There is a spectrum between Theresa and Susie Carmichael that exists as a gap in media representation. With my writing, I hope to help lessen that gap because, simply put, representation matters.

But I do wonder, what else does the universe have in store?

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Patterns Please!

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Patterned LeggingsWith the season change from winter to spring, I’ve made it a point to update my wardrobe a little bit by making a few new additions to my fashion family and, although I have an appreciation for each of my new pieces, among my favorites are patterned leggings.  I’ll admit that I was apprehensive about this investment at first.  I wasn’t sure how they would look and if they were worth it or not.  I spent a good deal of time browsing in stores and comparing styles online, trying to decide whether or not I was a patterned leggings type of girl.  But, alas, I took the plunge and ordered myself a couple of pairs of patterned leggings.  I must say it feels good to own them and I have no regrets about my purchases either.

I first tried out my new leggings on a recent road trip to South Carolina and they surely did not disappoint.  I found that the patterned leggings are a fast and simple way to make your outfit really pop.  If you’re feeling funky, throw on some patterned leggings with an oversize sweater and you’re good to go.  They can easily add color, flare, and intricacy to your look of the day.  I chose to wear my leggings with an oversized tank (yes, I was definitely taking advantage of the warm weather), while my other patterned leggings were married to a white boyfriend style button down and a belt on the way back home.  Both got a lot of love, showing the versatility of the bold leggings.  Plus, they’re comfortable.  Always trust that if looks won’t buy a girl, then comfort will.  Patterned leggings are just as easy as regular leggings, hugging your every curve, but not to the point where all you want to do is rip them off and slip into some sweatpants.  I wore them on a seven hour drive and had no complaints.  Plus, leggings are perfect for the spring weather that isn’t too hot or too cold.  I definitely suggest for every chick to have at least one pair of patterned leggings in their closet.  If you’re a little intimidated by the bold touch of them, I recommend making your first pair a black and white one to help you ease into it all.  If you’re more daring, then jump right into the colorful ones, but just don’t get too crazy!

The Spring Trends that’ll Make your Style Blossom!

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Now that spring is here, it’s time to bust out the spring fashion.  That means you can begin to part ways with your winter gear and reacquaint yourself with your warmer seasons’ pieces.  As always, you want to keep plenty of good basics and reliable neutrals in your wardrobe to avoid the pricey task of revamping your closet every time a new season comes around; however, you do want to freshen up your look with a few items that fall in line with the trends to keep you on the fashion forward side of things without having to completely give your style a make-over.

Sheer and lacey fabrics are things you want to incorporate into your closet this spring.  These fabrics are light, fun, and weather appropriate, allowing for a very fresh, spring feeling in your wardrobe.  On top of that, the sheer, lace factor in your outfit definitely adds a youthful sex appeal to your whole look.  I’ve always been a fan of lace ever since it started making a comeback a few seasons ago and I’m surely not ready to part ways with it anytime soon, so this is one trend I’ll be embracing in the upcoming months.  Sheer fabrics have also grabbed my attention, particularly in the dress and jacket departments.  I recently picked up a black chiffon bomber jacket that I’m basically in love with.

Jason Wu - Runway - Spring 2013 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

Also, keep your eyes open for florals.  Floral dresses, bottoms, tops, shoes, and anything else you can think of will not be out of place this season, but just don’t wear it all at once.  I’m all for the florals as long as there is a nice balance between the bold pattern and a neutral partner.  I’m certainly guilty of owning a few floral patterned tops and some floral shorts, but I don’t regret owning them as they know how to amp up the style factor of any outfit.  Throw on a black tee paired with some floral patterned shorts accessorize a bit and you are good to go for a nice spring day at the park.

Continuing off of this floral fashion tangent, ruffles will also be a good choice to add to your wardrobe, but just like with anything else be sure to practice moderation.  Ruffles and florals can easily become overwhelming and an eyesore if their beauty is exhausted, so don’t overload on these two trends.

Floral Pants

If you’re wondering what shoes to invest in, I would suggest focusing on blue or white heels as those are the colors this spring.  White is always a good choice for the spring and summer seasons, matching well with the warm, bright settings, while blue is also a good spring color.  Bright colors are reminiscent of the blooming flowers and blue is simply the “it” color for the fashion world this time around.  If you’re not a heels kind of gal, then I would recommend wedges.  They add that extra spark to your look without making you feel like your ankles are going to break with every step you take.

White Heels

Lastly, it’s important to recognize that spring doesn’t exactly mean sunny, eighty degree weather all season long.  You can’t exactly kiss goodbye your long sleeves until next year, so it’s important to know which jackets you want to keep handy for a few more months.  For one, the motto jacket is still a favorite amongst all the great fashion minds, particularly the leather ones.  There’s a new love for leather sleeves, speaking to the edge that this spring is hanging on to, so if you have a motto jacket adorned with zippers, spikes, sequins, or leather it will be welcomed this season.  The high fashion sweater is also another popular piece for spring.  I personally am in love with the Brian Lichtenberg, Givenchy, and SSUR sweaters, which bring the fashion world with street life.  I loved them enough to even buy a couple of pieces that I’ll be obsessing over for a while.

Homies Sweatshirt

If you didn’t get anything from these trends just understand that the upcoming season is all about mixing the youthful, edgy, urban world with the classic, high fashion society.  Don’t be afraid to mix a lacey dress with a leather motto jacket.  Or go ahead and rock your Homies sweater with denim floral shorts.  Have fun with your wardrobe and dare to mix things up.  It’s the spring season, so live a little and let your clothes show who you are.

Spring Blooming

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Spring Blooming

Spring is officially here and I couldn’t be more excited.  For one, I’m glad the cold, dreary mood of winter is formally on it’s way out, even though I must admit that this winter was full of some great experiences.  Secondly, I’m excited to dive into the perks of the warmer seasons, including the fashion, the outdoors, and the sights.  But, mostly, I can’t wait for the spring blooming.  It’s during this season when we get to see flowers and nature blossoming from closed, dull buds to colorful, lively products of our world.  Every corner is filled with bright colors and fresh scents, making me feel all the more inspired in my own life.

I’ve always seen spring as an opportunity to bloom as an individual and this year is no different for me.  I think you can take what you’ve learned and use it as a tool to grow, especially during this season of change.  Your experiences can help you become a brighter, more optimistic person that is headed in the direction of more success and happiness.  Yes, the new year is supposed to motivate you to make goals for your life, but spring can just as easily be the moment when you encourage yourself to stay on track with your upward trends.  Why not use spring as a chance to better your life and to better yourself?  Why not be inspired by the great things around you to make your life greater?  Spring, to many, is simply another season of the year, but you can also make it an inspirational time for you.  Motivate yourself to bloom and watch yourself blossom!

Spring Breakers Official Trailer

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The first official trailer for the film Spring Breakers has just been released and that’s very exciting news for me, since this movie has been on my must-see list for quite some time now.  The movie follows four college students who end up breaking a few rules in order to have an unforgettable spring break and it stars the likes of James Franco, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson, and Selena Gomez… a diverse group of actors, but talented nonetheless.  Honestly, the cast is what got me hooked to the film and I’m particularly interested in seeing how Selena does in a more mature role.  Most people are used to seeing her on Disney or in family movies and Spring Breakers certainly doesn’t fall into that category; however, I think this role is a good fit for her.  She has to be able to grow up sometime and this could be the start of her transition into being viewed as a serious actress.  Hopefully, this movie will be a defining moment in her career in a positive way and I just can’t wait to see it, but, in the meantime, here’s the trailer to Spring Breakers in theaters this March.

Every Girl Needs Some of These This May…

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Spring is in full bloom and the weather is warm.  It’s time to bust out those shorts, skirts, and little sundresses, but, to show the best of your legs, you need wedges!  They elongate your legs to make anybody look like they have the body of a supermodel, but the wedge gives what is hard to find in a heel… stability and comfort.  The fact that your weight is not resting on just a stiletto, but a whole wedge, allows your feet to take a break on a slant.  It also makes them a lot easier to walk in, so there are no excuses for the heel-intolerant females out there.  These days even baby shoes have wedges, so, if they can walk in them, so can you.  On top of that, wedges are a great way to bring some casual finesse to any outfit.  The wedge can look formal, but then it can have a very beachy feel to it, making it perfect for nearly every occasion.  You can walk on the boardwalk, go to work, or have fun with your girls all in some wedges.  Plus, this versatility will make an effortless transition into your summer wardrobe!

I personally love wedges and have several pairs, but I don’t expect everyone to load up on wedges, so make sure to stock up on ones you’ll actually wear.  If you know you’ll be spending more time outside, then go for a natural look that keeps it all casual.  If you’re a working girl, then your wedges should be more formal with neutral colors.  If the night life is calling your name, then you can go crazy on the boldest of wedges.  At the end of it all, you’ll be the one wearing them so make sure you love them!

Happy End of the Semester!

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After 30 tests and quizzes, nearly 20 papers, 4 presentations, and 4 months of chaos, my second spring semester at UMBC is finally over.  It was definitely an experience and I learned a lot about many things.  Now I know what Renaissance writers really thought about the Bible and how today’s television is actually affecting our development.  I now know that I can manage my time very well (when I want to) and that taking an 8:30am class is not the best idea.  I know how to write different kinds of news stories and that feature writing can be pretty interesting.

Most importantly, I know now that I can do it.  I can do well, balance my life, and survive, if I really try hard enough.  This semester I took a full course load, managed a few jobs, and was still able to squeeze in a social life.  I ended with good grades in school and a lot of growth at work.  I even made some new friends.

As I look back at this semester, it was definitely hard.  I don’t think I would recommend it to people, but I was crazy enough to do it, so who am I to talk?  I will say though that, if you have the right mindset, then challenge yourself and never settle because the end prize is always worth it.  Next semester, I’ll still be taking a full course load and I’ll still be working, but I’ll also be going easier on myself.  I know what I can manage and I know when to say that’s too much.  We’ll see how next semester goes all for the sake of graduating in Spring 2013.  That’s my goal, but then again that’s a whole year away.  For the next couple of months, I’m just going to enjoy my freedom from papers, readings, and finals.

Enjoy your summer vacation fellow students!